goddamn I love this band. I know this isn't saying anything new but John Doe + Exene is like my favorite vocal harmony combo.
Oh god yes.
"Some people give me the creeps!"
― collardio gelatinous, Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
It was better before, before they voted for whatshisnameThis was supposed to be the new wooooooorld
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 24 March 2012 22:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
listening to live at the Whiskey, falling in love with them all over again so great
i have a renewed crush on DJ Bonebrake
― set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 29 January 2013 22:16 (10 months ago) Permalink
For me those first couple X albums make virtually the only rock music as good (or almost as good) as salsa for driving around to.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 22:27 (10 months ago) Permalink
when I first met Mr Veg we roadtripped from SF to LA listening to the Whisky album and it still sounds like the grapevine on I-5 to me
― set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 29 January 2013 22:31 (10 months ago) Permalink
Seen this band so many times and in so many configurations I've lost count.
Anyway, you know what's a lot better than the Live At The Whisky album (which I basically disown on the basis that Billy Zoom isn't involved) is that FM broadcast of them playing in Boston with a two guitar lineup (Dave Alvin lead, Tony rhythm I think). Highlights include Exene dominating the meanest cover of Positively 4th Street you'll ever hear - forget the studio version happened - and a brilliant medley of Devil Doll and Long White Cadillac. And they take away all that hair metal sheen from the Ain't Love Grand songs.
As a complete X junkie, here's a few recommendations/preferences:-Don't have the lineage, but an FM broadcast of a NY show from 83. My Father's Place maybe? Features a version of True Love Pt. 2 that is just beyond demented. The mix on that bootleg is perfect. Giant guitar and bass, and unlike some of the other FM stuff circulating from the era, Exene's very lucid and pissed off.
-Wild Gift has a horrid mix that makes everything sound like it's coming out of my grandpa's radio. Find bootlegs and live albums instead. Particularly Live In Los Angeles, from the reunion tour. Definitive versions of the Wild Gift-era songs.
-Go to dime or whatever and find the Winters 2009 bootleg of The Knitters. That band is its own thing live. Dave Alvin's way louder than on record and he's given a lot of leeway to take some mean solos. Very fond of how he's given about two minutes at the end of New World to turn it into the Battle Hymn of the Republic. And Walkin' Cane live is just something else. Highlight is their fantastic cover of "Wreck On The Highway," as yet unreleased.
-Also, seek out their medley of Wild Side of Life/Honky Tonk Angels and the fiddle demo of Someone Like You. Classic, straight-faced Bakersfield country that sound like lost 45s. No proof they were recorded in 85 at all.
-Solo stuff. Exene: Alone In Arizona, Already In Love, Dirty Snow, Lonesome War. John: Hwy 5, Golden State, Lean Out Yr Window, Pressing On, Cottage In The Dale. (He also does a killer version of Ballad of a Thin Man if you can find that.)
― Everything You Like Sucks, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 02:51 (10 months ago) Permalink
I clearly remember this being the coolest thing I had ever seen:
― Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 03:53 (10 months ago) Permalink
Yup. Was a regular on MTV.
― dan selzer, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:31 (10 months ago) Permalink
pretty cool show this past saturday in santa ana, at a benefit for phil alvin: x and the knitters both on the bill, along with the blasters and los lobos. it was very very 1982, and i'm guessing a good number of people in the room were in fact there in 1982 if not earlier. lots of flannel shirts and white t-shirts. bummed that dave alvin didn't play with x. but he played with the blasters, which was much more important, obviously, and oh so great. knitters were endearingly sloppy (i've seen them a lot tighter) and jovial (and a bit too electric for my taste, which is to say dave alvin was really loud relative to everyone else). x stuck to the first four albums and avoided anything the knitters had just played. the knitters' "the new world" was about halfway between the knitters and x versions anyway. john and exene were hamming it up big-time. billy stood stage right, about 500 yards from the rest of the band. old people moshed. i thought exene sounded particuarly good, except when she joined the blasters for a duet of "jackson" and the soundman forgot to turn up her mic for the first half of the song. oops.
― fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:44 (10 months ago) Permalink
Also, seek out their medley of Wild Side of Life/Honky Tonk Angels
yes! it's on the excellent "radio tokyo tapes vol. 3" comp if you can find it.
― fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:45 (10 months ago) Permalink
Wild Gift has a horrid mix that makes everything sound like it's coming out of my grandpa's radio.Really? I think it sounds great, like they're right in the room with you. Certainly an upgrade over Los Angeles.
― Jazzbo, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 12:37 (10 months ago) Permalink
I just had an X revival a few weeks ago after reading We Got the Neutron Bomb. I hadn't really given them much of a spin in about 5 years. They're such a great band, I have no idea why I was ignoring them.
― how's life, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:33 (10 months ago) Permalink
But it might have been Billy Zoom's hair.
― how's life, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:34 (10 months ago) Permalink
Sorry guy, you can't come out of my speakers today.
― how's life, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:38 (10 months ago) Permalink
― that's real banjo bro (Hunt3r), Saturday, 2 February 2013 04:37 (10 months ago) Permalink
I was thinking today that Billy Zoom is the perfect guitarist for X, because he's such a conventional guy. Here's John/Exene doing their Bukowski-goes-to-hell-and-look-at-all-these-Bakersfield-country-45s-we-bought thing, and then over in this corner is Billy Zoom, seemingly oblivious to it all. Christian, blond, seemingly unaware of any guitarists who came to prominence after the death of Eddie Cochran. It's hilarious. I can't get enough of it.
Also, when I've taken pics at X shows, he's always noticed, and mugged for every shot I take with that fake smile. I just love him to death. He's both batshit and completely devoid of pretension.
― Everything You Like Sucks, Saturday, 2 February 2013 07:31 (10 months ago) Permalink
As for their other guitarists, well, Dave Alvin turns them into a roots-rock band that's not as ironic as you'd think, and Tony Gilkyson turns them into, well, an LA band in 1988.
― Everything You Like Sucks, Saturday, 2 February 2013 07:32 (10 months ago) Permalink
i like X so that means they suck?
― am0n, Saturday, 2 February 2013 07:37 (10 months ago) Permalink
I was always convinced he had to be deranged or kicked in the head. But he fucking rules up there with that guitar, goddamn
― set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 2 February 2013 07:48 (10 months ago) Permalink
How is Exene doing these days?
Wish they'd play the UK, the last time they were supposed to play in London was 5 years ago and it was cancelled. It looks like they did play the UK last year supporting Pearl Jam but only in Manchester?
― Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Saturday, 2 February 2013 09:44 (10 months ago) Permalink
Demo version of one of the great forgotten songs:
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 3 February 2013 14:08 (10 months ago) Permalink
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 4 July 2013 12:43 (5 months ago) Permalink
Hey baby, was just playing that.
― _Rudipherous_, Thursday, 4 July 2013 14:22 (5 months ago) Permalink
Going to see X tonite! And Blondie (who are headlining), but still--X!
― A Made Man In The Mellow Mafia (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 27 September 2013 18:00 (2 months ago) Permalink
Just saw that bill a week or so ago. X was very good, but Blondie only gave 'em 50 minutes so John Doe announced that they had little time and would do little chit-chat between songs and just play. Which they did. I could nitpick song choices but they sounded great. Exene did say how excited she was to be opening for Blondie, and Billy Zoom just did his creepy smile thing while effortlessly sounding great on guitar.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 27 September 2013 18:42 (2 months ago) Permalink
They were awesome! Despite time limitations, they delivered a nice balance of 'hits' and album stuff (we got "Year 1" and they closed with "Devil Doll"). All the comments upthread about Billy Zoom live are otm. So great that they are still around doing their thing.
― A Made Man In The Mellow Mafia (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 28 September 2013 21:53 (2 months ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Monday, 30 September 2013 14:08 (2 months ago) Permalink